Career focus: Doctors who have a chronic illness
Susannah Baron and colleagues share their experiences of chronic illness and give some tips for those who might find themselves in a similar position
Illness seems to be a dirty word among doctors. Why do professionals whose vocation is caring for the sick find it so difficult to care for themselves and each other? It is almost as though once you are ill you have deserted and joined the ranks of the “sick others.” Is it because ill colleagues remind doctors of their own mortality?
True to form, I ignoredmy symptoms for at least six months. I put the chronic cough, drenching night sweats, swinging temperatures, severe chest pain, and constant fatigue down to flu and the usual problems of uprooting and starting a new job in a city where I knewno one. Even I couldn't ignore a large lump inmyneck, but I was told it was probably tuberculosis. Six weeks later I turned into a walking MRCP short case as my large B cell non-Hodgkin's tumour decided to occlude my left subclavian vein